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Officials sacked for land dispute
www.chinaview.cn 2005-06-15 09:57:02

    BEIJING, June 15 -- The party chief and the mayor of Dingzhou in Hebei Province were removed from their posts, after 10 people in a village were reported killed in clashes over a land dispute, local television media reported Monday night.

    With the permission of local police villagers took the bodies of four residents back to Shenyou Village from a hospital where they died , but villagers refused to hand over the hostage identified as Zhu Xiaorui, who was captured by the villagers during the clashes.

    Zhu admitted he was hired in Beijing and paid 100 yuan (US$12) to beat villagers up.

    Zhu was under custody in the village committee, but was not maltreated by residents, The Beijing News reported. Villagers admitted it was illegal to hold Zhu as a hostage, but they had no other choice. Zhu has been given good food and allowed to leave his basement confinement for fresh air and sun.

    The spokesman of the Dingzhou police said the authorities had made progress in negotiating with the villagers, seeking a satisfactory solution to the dispute.

    Nearly 100 were also injured when several hundred allegedly hired thugs descended on the village, which is under jurisdiction of Dingzhou City, and clashed with local residents Saturday.

    Five busloads of men arrived at Shengyou Village with hunting rifles, clubs, sharpened pipes and other weapons in the small hours of Saturday morning, and attacked villagers, the report said.

    The attackers, wearing construction helmets, were mostly young men in their 20s allegedly hired by a local electricity company, the report said.

    Among the dead was a 60-year-old villager who was killed by gunfire several hundred meters from where the clashes took place.

    The village has refused to accept land compensation from the Hebei Guohua Power Co. since 2003, which hopes to build a power plant on 26 hectares of village land, the paper said.

    Parts of the battle, which lasted for about an hour, were videotaped by some villagers, it said.

    According to the paper, the Hebei Guohua company is seeking to requisition 116 hectares from 13 villages in the region to build a power plant, with only Shenyou Village refusing the compensation package. 

    (Source: Shenzhen Daily)

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